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My Norwich

Preserving our history - war memorial to get summer clean

War Memorial Published on Monday, 8th August 2022

The Norwich War Memorial, which sits proudly in the heart of the city, will be undergoing a deep clean ahead of upcoming events to mark the Battle of Britain and Remembrance Sunday.

A specialist team will start the work on Monday 8 August and it is scheduled to take two weeks to complete.

Due to the delicate Portland stonework and the memorial being Grade II* listed, cleaning the monument must be done sensitively, using an agreed method following advice from heritage professionals.

Councillor Paul Kendrick, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for resources, said:

“The memorial is an important part of our civic heritage and a unique city asset.

“The council takes great pride in the historic war memorials it owns and protects and part of this is making sure they are properly maintained and can be enjoyed by future generations.

“Preserving the quality of the monument offers a fitting tribute to those that lost their lives in war.”

Group Captain Stewart Blackburn, chairman at Veterans Norfolk, said:

“I am delighted to see that the Norwich War Memorial outside City Hall is to get a deep clean again this summer. The memorial is a key focal point for remembrance in the city and it is imperative that it is properly preserved and cared for.

“I am also keen to explore ways in which the community can become more involved in learning about our city’s unique war memorials and caring for them and hope to be able to announce some new initiatives to enable this later this year.”

The cleaning will cost around £3,000 and contractors, Messenger Conservation, will be carrying out the work using a low pressure and high temperature steam cleaning system and meticulous manual cleaning.

Fencing around the memorial will be minimal so visits during the summer holidays can continue.

Background information

The Norwich War Memorial is a First World War memorial and was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1927 – it was the last of his eight cenotaphs to be erected in England. It was originally situated at the eastern end of The Guildhall when it was unveiled in 1927.

It was relocated to the newly-built memorial gardens when they were opened in 1938. During a £2.6m refurbishment of both the memorial and adjoining gardens in 2010, the memorial was turned round to face St Peter’s Street and City Hall.

The memorial is also hand-cleaned several times a year, scheduled to coincide with key events.